Twin Peaks meets Stars Hollow in this paranormal suspense novel about a boy who can reach inside people and steal their innermost things—fears, memories, scars, even love—and his family's secret ritual that for centuries has kept the cliff above their small town from collapsing.
Aspen Quick has never really worried about how he's affecting people when he steals from them. But this summer he'll discover just how strong the Quick family magic is—and how far they'll go to keep their secrets safe.
With a smart, arrogant protagonist, a sinister family tradition, and an ending you won't see coming, this is a fast-paced, twisty story about power, addiction, and deciding what kind of person you want to be, in a family that has the ability to control everything you are.
A young man with the ability to steal memories and other aspects of a person's identity learns the cost of his power in this unnerving tale of supernatural suspense. Aspen Quick's family has secretly protected their small upstate New York town for generations, using their gifts to conduct a periodic ritual to keep the cliff that looms over Three Peaks from collapsing. Aspen also uses his powers for his own benefit stealing sobriety in order to drink without consequence or stealing his best friends' love for each other so he can act on a long-hidden crush. As the summer wears on, he runs into a girl immune to his powers and eventually discovers the source of his family's oddness, as well as dark secrets that threaten to upset their carefully maintained status quo. Ribar (The Art of Wishing) sets up an intriguing premise and explores Aspen's abilities in provocative ways. The coercive, nonconsensual nature of Aspen's family's powers makes for deeply unsettling reading, and Aspen's recognition of this comes slow and late in the process, and isn't entirely convincing. Ages 12 up.